This book was published in 2016 and is the latest novel in the author’s series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. This time, he’s hung up his title as Chief Inspector and has become the Commander of the Surete Academy. The Academy is a three year school where new recruits are trained in police procedures and taught by senior officers from the Surete du Quebec, the provincial police force. His first task is to screen the applications for new recruits and he has trouble deciding what to do for Amelia Choquet. Eventually, he accepts her and he’s hopeful she’ll work out. But her tattoos and piercings distinguish her from the rest of the students. In addition, the Commander purges the staff except for one notable exception. Serge Leduc was the second-in-command before and remains as a professor. He was alleged to skimmed millions of dollars from the construction of the Academy, but there was no proof. Keeping him on was a risk the Commander felt he had to take, but one he’d come to regret.
I found this story to be fascinating and could barely put the book down. The book is easy to read but it does have a lot of parts, which the author expertly brings together. I look forward to her next book and the next challenge for Armand Gamache. Maybe he will become the Chief of the Surete after all.